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Former Arizona QB Dawkins steps away from football, cites mental health

Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins warms up before an NCAA college football game against Utah, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

In an Instagram post Wednesday, former Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins announced he is stepping away from football.

Dawkins cited his mental health as the reason for his break.

As my mental health is deteriorating I have decided to take a break from the game. I know now that I need to take care of ME.

Before transferring, Dawkins played at Arizona for three years, most notably in 2016 when he was the starting quarterback. He threw for 1,348 yards and rushing for 944 yards with 18 total touchdowns.

The highlight of Dawkins’ UA career came in the 2016 Territorial Cup game when he led the Wildcats over ASU, rushing for 183 yards and two touchdowns.

Because of Khalil Tate’s success last year, Dawkins transferred to Indiana in hopes of winning the starting job. But after Peyton Ramsey won the job, Dawkins announced his plans to leave the program.

In the post, Dawkins thanked football for helping him have a platform and earn a degree.

It has given me a platform to be in people’s life, and I have always tried to use that to share a smile. Football has also helped me get to college and obtain my degree. Not to mention all of the life skills that it has tough me and memories it has given me that will last the rest of my life.

While Dawkins said he is grateful for football helping him earn a degree, he admitted he has lost touch with the sport.

The most important thing to me though has been the joy that the game always brought me. Over the last couple years I lost touch with that joy. I respect and love the game, but I have lost touch with it.

He also mentioned that he is thankful for the role of Arizona’s and Indiana’s sports psychology teams.

I am grateful for the sports psychology team at both Arizona and Indiana for helping me at some of the lowest points in my life.

Dawkins did not elaborate on his next career move, but he said he trusts God’s plan for his future.